Monday, 23 June 2008

Taste and create - Filipino style spaghetti

After the fun of making Nicole's summer tart, I signed up for this month's regular Taste and Create event. I was partnered with Gay from A scientist in the kitchen - can you think of a more appropriately named partner blog given who I share my life with?! Gay is doing a PhD in molecular biology, and likes to cook from her native Philippine cuisine. I really wanted to try out one of these creations, and her Filipino style spaghetti caught my eye. There are few meals I don't think are improved for adding a banana or two, and I liked the look of this dish as it had banana catsup in the spicy tomatoey sauce. I'd never heard of the catsup (or ketchup as I suppose we'd call it over here), but I googled some recipes, and found that it's like a spicy version of my beloved banana chutney. Gay warned in her post that the sauce is quite sweet and so unlike a traditional spaghetti dish, but it's one she loves, partly because her father makes it.

The original recipe calls for corned beef hash, but I used cooked puy lentils instead. My sauce consisted of tomato sauce with banana chutney stirred in, and some cayenne added to approximate to the heat of Gay's. The chutney already had onions in it, so I skipped the onion stage of the sauce. The lentils were added to the warmed tomato-banana sauce, and the whole was served atop some noodles.

I loved this dish. I didn't measure anything so I don't know how authentic the taste was, but I really liked the slight sweetness from the banana and the dried fruit in the chutney (this particular batch had dried figs in it, though the recipe I read for banana catsup used raisins). Gay suggested serving it with cheese but it was so nice without it that I just added a bit to the odd mouthful. I made loads and ate it all as it was so good. I can't report what my Scientist thought as he is away for the week at a meeting with some collaborators. He's never tried the banana chutney I don't think, though it's possible he thinks he's not allowed (I'm very possessive of the foods I particularly like to prevent him from scoffing them all when I'm not looking! If you're reading this in your halls room, sweetheart, you are welcome to try my chutney :)) With lentils instead of meat the sauce is not a million miles away from barbecue beans or Veganomicon's Snobby Joes, both of which are other favourites of ours, though with a little more spice. So while I don't know whether Gay's father would recognise my version of his spaghetti, I had a very tasty and satisfying dinner. Now I must lie still and digest for a while.

Here's Gay's summary of the recipe:

Cook 500g spaghetti according to package instructions. Place contents of a can of corned beef hash [or cooked lentils] in a bowl and mix with 2 tsp black pepper. Saute chopped garlic (4 cloves) and onions (1 large onion, minced) in vegetable oil. Add the corned beef hash and 2 tbsp soy sauce. Mix well then add the sauces (1 cup banana catsup and 2 pouch of regular tomato sauce - banana catsup is already sweet so no need to use Filipino-style spaghetti sauce). Simmer for a few minutes then add the cooked spaghetti. Make sure that pasta is well-coated with sauce. Serve topped with cheese.

And here's the recipe I looked at for the banana catsup, though I ended up using banana chutney with added cayenne.


gay said...

Wow, a vegetarian version of Filipino spaghetti! I think I'll do this at home and see what my dad thinks.

Lysy said...

I hope he likes it! :)

gay said...

Hey, I'm running late for the this event but I'll post over the weekend. We had the typhoon last weekend and we're still cleaning up.